GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Greenville city officials broke ground Thursday on a multi-phase project that will transform the way residents travel through Greenville’s core areas.

The Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) project will consist of four greenway and sidewalk projects and three streetscape projects. It is intended to enhance connectivity between West Greenville, the Medical District, East Carolina University, and downtown, with an eye toward safety and accessibility.

The groundbreaking was held at 901 West Fifth Street in an area adjacent to where one of the streetscape phases of the project will be constructed.

“Today marks a significant step forward for the City of Greenville as we gather to celebrate the groundbreaking for these transformative projects that will enhance the connectivity and accessibility of our community on a scale that we have never seen before,” Mayor P.J. Connelly said.

The City of Greenville applied for a BUILD Grant administered by the US Department of Transportation in July 2019 and was notified of the award in November of that same year. City Council awarded three contracts for the BUILD project in April 2023.

The $48.5-million project includes three adjacent sections of streetscape improvements along West Fifth Street. Vehicular improvements include resurfacing of the existing roadway and construction of two roundabouts (at Tyson Street and at Albemarle Avenue/Elizabeth Street) to replace misaligned intersections, while pedestrian and bicycle improvements include Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-compliant sidewalks and curb ramps, pedestrian safety lighting, high-visibility crosswalks, and bicycle facilities.

The four greenway and sidewalk projects will involve using a collection of greenway and multi-use paths to improve pedestrian and bicycle access and connectivity throughout the targeted areas. Those include the South Tar River Greenway Phase 3B, the Moye Boulevard Multi-Use Path Upgrade, the Arts District Trail, and the Town Common Connector. 

“Each project included in BUILD will help provide a better connected, sustainable, and livable city for generations to come,” Connelly said. “As we break ground on BUILD, we are also breaking some of the barriers that have hindered seamless movement and integration within our city.”